In which I fail to cheer for @Jack’s return to #Twitter

In which I fail to cheer for @Jack’s return to #Twitter

A lot of people (well certain people) have been fussing about Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey returning to the company as it’s new CEO. While I think he’ll easily be better than his predecessor Dick Costolo, I see no cause to celebrate.

The magic in Twitter has always been the connections between people and the ability to grow and connect communities of people. The Arab Spring is the most famous and impactful example of this, but “Black Twitter” is a more current illustration. It’s a large and decentralized community which is having a real impact on people’s lives through connection, cultural critique, and shining a light on police brutality via #BlackLivesMatter.

Today I followed a link posted by a friend from back when there were only handful of us on Twitter. It was a collection of reactions of “Twitter influencers” to Jack’s return. They were all white, a couple were my friends. Responses ranged from “we’ll see” to “Jack is my BFF.” There was not a single concern raised. It should come as no surprise that all of the white, male CEOs of Twitter were hired by a board which is itself nearly all white men (with the exception of a few Asian men and one very powerful woman.

Twitter has been making moves to try to compete with media companies (and Facebook) by pushing big news and events, memes that trend via their mysterious algorithm, and celebrity tweeters. This ground has been covered and there will always be someone who does that better than them. Twitter’s unique value proposition is the ability to find and directly connect with real people who you don’t already know but who add value to your life. To be a participant in a movement (whether it’s for democracy or your favorite TV show) rather than just a consumer. I have rarely seen Twitter’s corporate policies show that they understand or appreciate this value. In addition, their continuing lack of interest in doing anything serious about the pervasive abuse of women online further shows that they just don’t care about us, the users that give their platform meaning.

So I wrote a few tweets about this, but it’s hard to convey the complexity and the importance of this in 140 characters so I wanted to expand in this blog post. If you share my concerns, I’d appreciate a retweet or other show of solidarity.

NCTech4Good 2015 is upon us!

It’s been a little while since I posted about this, but I have been continuing to facilitate NCTech4Good’s hybrid unconference annually since 2011. Tomorrow is our 2015 event! A lot of people still don’t know what “unconference” means, so I get excited about spreading the gospel. I never fail to have people who looked at me skeptically […]

Nonviolence is still a radical notion

All of the comics in The Village Voice‘s “The 10 Most Subversive Comics at New York Comic Con” look great, but I most appreciated the shout out to John Lewis’ new book March (which I just read) as well as the Fellowship of Reconciliation‘s 1957 comic explaining nonviolent direct action. I originally discovered The Montgomery Story when I […]

After reading this article at Bustle by a woman who struggled to go a whole week without apologizing, I’ve decided to try it myself. Today when there was a misunderstanding over e-mail, it took me some time to figure out how to respond without apologizing because I did feel I was at fault.

Finally I came up with “I should have made that clearer.” It felt great!